AGL faces major outage as worker seriously injured: Aus shares 0.7% lower at noon

Market Reports

by Katrina Bullock

The Australian share market opened slightly higher following positive leads from US markets. It’s down after 2 hours of trade, dragged lower by the banks. The S&P/ASX 200 index is 45 points down or 0.7 per cent lower at 6,712. On the futures market the SPI is 53 points higher.

Broker moves

UBS has upgraded Seven West Media (ASX:SWM) from a neutral to a buy, with a price target of $0.40. This comes as Standard Media Index data shows a return to positive ad market growth for the first time in 2 years. Shares in Seven West Media (ASX:SWM) are trading 7.3 per cent higher at $0.29.

Company news

Shares in biotech darling Mesoblast (ASX:MSB) tumbled this morning, after it announced its Covid 19 trial for ventilator-dependent patients is not likely to meet its 30 day mortality reduction endpoint. This news comes after a data readout of the trial's first 180 patients. Shares in Mesoblast (ASX:MSB) are trading 35.5 per cent lower at $2.43 at noon.

AGL (ASX:AGL) says that Unit 3 of its Liddell Power Station is out of service following a transformer incident that “seriously injured” a worker. An investigation is under way into the cause of the transformer incident. Authorities have been contacted. AGL has informed the Australian Energy Market Operator that the length of the outage may be up to two and a half months. Shares in AGL (ASX:AGL) are trading 0.2 per cent lower at $13.05 at noon.

IPOs

Online luxury goods retailer, Cettire (ASX:CTT) started trading today. It issued shares at $0.50 and started trading on the ASX at $0.45 and is currently trading at $0.52.

Mining exploration company, Desert Metals (ASX:DM1) started trading today. It issued shares at $0.20 and started trading on the ASX at $0.48 and is currently trading at $0.50.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector is Consumer Staples, adding 0.9 per cent, while the worst performing sector is Information Technology, shedding 1.7 per cent.

The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Blackmores (ASX:BKL), rising 4.1 per cent to $78.01, followed by shares in NiB Holdings (ASX:NHF) and Saracen Mineral Holdings (ASX:SAR).

The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 is Mesoblast (ASX:MSB),dropping 35.5 per cent to $2.43, followed by shares in QBE Insurance (ASX:QBE) and Viva Energy (ASX:VEA).

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1,883 an ounce.
Iron ore price rose 1.3 per cent to US$158.49.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a rise of 3.4 per cent.
One Australian dollar is buying 76.12 US cents.